Big Data Storage Goes DNA

Aug 18, 2012 • Apps & Software, Data
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As IBM goes flash with its acquisition of Texas Memory Systems and the recent public launch of Data Collective for Big Data entrepreneurs DNA was the least expected move for storage.

A Harvard researcher says data can now be stored in human DNA devices with more capacity to store exploding quantities of digital data.

The research team on Thursday encoded what it says an entire textbook into the genetic molecules of DNA  and read back the text word by word. Giving hope for new data-storage devices with enormous capacity than computer chips and flash drives.

The Harvard University molecular geneticist George Church, the project’s senior researcher told the Wall Street Journal ,”A device the size of your thumb could store as much information as the whole Internet”.

The book contained words, pictures and JavaScript code and they were all stored and retrieved accurately. The scientists put in a test tube nearly 55,000 short DNA strands each containing portions of the book and an address where the portion is in the book.Using that method the researchers claim a billion copies can last for centuries.

And though Dr. Church say it could be the wave of the future the method is requires a series of advanced laboratory procedures and expensive equipment and might not be commercially viable soon.

However Dr. Church is confident the costs will drop  with time and the technology might be available in future.

 Therefore in a Flash forward, DNA might in the long run be the ‘cloud’ for companies and individuals to store their photographs, books, financial records, medical files and videos in lab conditions though.

Sam Wakoba

Sam Wakoba travels around the world's technology hubs and events writing about startups, VC’ s and ventures. Spends nights reviewing trending gadgets, ICT initiatives, and disrupting technology.

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